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by Robert Wilson
HarperCollins UK, February 2003
434 pages
10.00 GBP
ISBN: 0007117795

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

During Semana Santa in Seville, a leading restaurateur is found dead, his eyelids removed, so that he was forced to watch shocking television images. Detective Javier Falcón is worried, particularly when the investigation forces him to investigate the life of his late father, a world-famous artist. In the meantime, the killings go on.

THE BLIND MAN OF SEVILLE’ is an excellent novel. Wilson has created memorable characters and an intricate plot that is going to have readers guessing. His primary success is in the evocative descriptions of the setting, Seville. The city is as much of a character in this novel as Edinburgh is in Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels. Wilson also liberally introduces many Spanish words and ideas, so it would be useful for the reader to have a working knowledge of the Spanish language, or at the very least, their customs, to have the added depth this would provide. Anyone who has visited Seville during Semana Santa and the FERIA DE ABRIL’ will easily be able to identify with locations and the atmosphere.

His second major success is with his characters. He explores the tortured mind of Javier Falcón as the investigation becomes more and more complex. This gives rise to complicated, rather literary discussions of states of mind, the nature of crime and why the killer behaves as he does. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the novel, but adds to it, making it more than just a simple police thriller. The reader will also be interested by the journals of Francisco Falcón, who becomes as much of a character in the novel as his son.

The plot is at times shocking and there are events that some readers may find shocking, but overall, Wilson has created a stunning novel. Some events are not explained at the end, but this only adds to the mystery and dark atmosphere that surround Falcón’s world in what should be one of the most exciting times in the Seville calendar, the ‘Feria de Abril’. Highly recommended, particularly to lovers of Spain.

Reviewed by Luke Croll, March 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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